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Gov. Rauner calls school-funding special session

Gov. Rauner calls school-funding special session”

Updated at 5:15 p.m. with new approach - IL lawmakers must hold the summer's second special session due to disagreements over state's K-12 school funding formula.

The governor plans to amend SB 1 to remove the Chicago Public Schools' pension bailout that's now included in the bill, which then would provide more money to children and schools statewide.

Governor Bruce Rauner (R-IL) has followed through on a promise to call a Special Session if the legislature did not send an education funding bill to his desk by today.

It is now being held on a procedural motion, as Democratic lawmakers seek more time to negotiate after Rauner vowed to veto the measure, decrying it as a "bailout" for Chicago Public Schools. Our families and students can not wait any longer. A special session earlier this month concluded with Democrats enacting an annual budget - fueled by a 32 percent increase in the income tax rate - over Rauner vetoes. "Our schools must open on time." he said.

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Republicans object to provisions in the bill they say bails out Chicago's pension system. Separately, we can, we can do it this summer or some other time - fix the pension problem in Chicago and around the state.

"I'd like to have a conversation with Governor Rauner in hopes of getting some clarity as to exactly what is going on", Cullerton said in a statement on Monday.

The Republican ordered the House and Representatives and Senate to report to Springfield Wednesday.

Without a funding formula in place, the Illinois State Board of Education will only be able to distribute $1.5 billion in state money and federal funds to districts, according to ISBE spokeswoman Jackie Matthews. "We slowed down the process in the Senate in order to let everyone blow off some steam, politically speaking". "I don't want him making statewide classroom funding decisions out of a position of anger".

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SB 1 sponsor, Senator Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, is also asking the governor to meet with leaders instead of calling a special session.

"I am happy to have all kinds of discussions after the bill is on my desk, there is nothing to discuss unless that bill is on my desk". We are going to open schools on time.

Despite questions from Chicago reporters Monday morning, Rauner has still not given out any information on what will be in his amendatory veto.

Rauner says he plans to take out what he calls a "poison pill". He declined, when asked on Monday, to explain what changes he would make with the amendatory veto.

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